The Tao Is Silent Raymond M. Smullyan

At all costs, the Chris­tian must con­vince the hea­then and the athe­ist that God ex­ists, in or­der to save his soul. At all costs, the athe­ist must con­vince the Chris­tian that the be­lief in God is but a child­ish and prim­i­tive su­per­sti­tion, do­ing enor­mous harm to the cause of true so­cial progress 1)↓. And so they bat­tle and storm and bang away at each other. Mean­while, the Taoist Sage sits qui­etly by the stream, per­haps with a book of po­ems, a cup of wine, and some paint­ing ma­te­ri­als, en­joy­ing the Tao to his hearts con­tent, with­out ever wor­ry­ing whether or not Tao ex­ists. The Sage has no need to af­firm the Tao; he is far too busy en­joy­ing it!


A math­e­ma­ti­cian friend of mine re­cently told me of a math­e­ma­ti­cian friend of his who ev­ery­day “takes a nap”. Now, I never take naps. But I of­ten fall asleep while read­ing — which is very dif­fer­ent from de­lib­er­ately tak­ing a nap! I am far more like my dogs Peek­a­boo, Peeka­too and Trixie than like my math­e­ma­ti­cian friend once re­moved. These dogs never take naps; they merely fall asleep. They fall asleep wher­ever and when­ever they choose (which, in­ci­den­tally is most of the time!). Thus these dogs are true Sages.
 I think this is all that Chi­nese phi­los­o­phy is re­ally about; the rest is mere elab­o­ra­tion! If you can learn to fall asleep with­out tak­ing a nap, then you too will be­come a Sage. But if you can’t, you will find it not as easy as you might think. It takes dis­ci­pline! But dis­ci­pline in the East­ern, not West­ern style. East­ern dis­ci­pline en­ables you to fall asleep rather than take a nap; West­ern dis­ci­pline has you do the re­verse. East­ern dis­ci­pline trains you to “al­low your­self” to sleep when you are sleepy; West­ern dis­ci­pline teaches you to force your­self to sleep whether you are sleepy or not. Had I been Laotse, I would have added the fol­low­ing maxim — which I think is the quin­tes­sence of Taoist phi­los­o­phy:

The Sage falls asleep not be­cause he ought to
Nor even be­cause he wants to
But be­cause he is sleepy.

Czytaj dalej

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1. Lawrence Krauss & Richard Dawkins